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AFTRA 2007 Convention Resolutions

Delegates to the 70th Anniversary AFTRA National Convention, held in Philadelphia from July 19-21, passed five amendments to the union’s Constitution and acted on various resolutions. Those passed by the Convention are summarized here. Resolutions tabled, defeated, or referred to the National Board or to committees are not included. Click on the amendment or resolution number for the full text of an item.

Constitutional Amendments

Expanded the Constitution’s anti-discrimination clause to add the following new categories of persons who cannot be discriminated against in becoming members or holding office in AFTRA: national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, marital status, political affiliation or veteran status. Click here>>

New York voiceover performer Anne Gartan speaks from the convention floor
Created a new procedure whereby any Local can nominate candidates for the National Board by nominating committee, in addition to the petition procedure. For Regional Field Locals represented by members-at-large, the petition requirement was reduced from 20 to ten signatures. It remains 20 for other Locals. Click here>>

Stipulated that claims by members against AFTRA, its Locals, or its representatives, must be filed within six months of the date when the claimant became aware, or “reasonably should have become aware,” of the conduct giving rise to the claim. Click here>>

Gives a claimant ten business day’s notice of the hearing of a claim, instead of the previous notice of just one week. Click here>>

For claims purposes, the term “member” has been clarified  to include those with an inactive status in AFTRA, such as Honorable Withdrawal, and removed language in the provision relating to resigned or terminated members. Click here>>

Convention Resolutions

The Convention convened a special session to consider this resolution, and by a vote of 91%, authorized AFTRA’s direct affiliation with the AFL-CIO, and its withdrawal from the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (the Four As), of which the union has been a branch, and through which it has derived its AFL-CIO affiliation. Since joining the Four As, AFTRA has evolved from a union of actors working in radio drama into a national union of actors, performers, recording artists, journalists and other media workers employed across a wide spectrum of the media and internet industries. Delegates emphasized the importance of building new alliances and entering into new cooperative and strategic relationships with unions directly affiliated with the AFL-CIO. They also emphasized that AFTRA will “continue cooperative working relationships with the Four As and its branches.” Click here>>

The Convention encouraged the AFTRA Foundation to become a listed charitable organization with GoodSearch or a similar program and encouraged all AFTRA members to select the AFTRA Foundation as their designated charity. (GoodSearch is an internet search engine, powered by Yahoo, that donates 50% of its advertising revenue to charitable organizations.) Click here>>

Los Angeles broadcaster Mike Sakellarides makes a point

Reaffirmed AFTRA’s support for national health care reform and for legislation that would provide affordable universal coverage that does not undermine existing coverage, financed by business, labor and government. The resolution also urged AFTRA, through its local leadership, to provide information about the health care crisis and its impact on AFTRA members, and to identify and provide contact information for members to communicate with their elected representatives.
 Click here>>

Resolved that AFTRA continue its efforts to reflect the diversity of its membership in its leadership and staffing structures at every level of the union, including convention delegates; that it support mentoring programs and leadership training workshops, collect demographic data on members and staff, and condemn racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination based on disability and age. Click here>>

Delegates enthusiastically and unanimously saluted delegate Martha Reeves, noted recording artist, Detroit Local Board member and a member of the Detroit City Council, for her willingness to “put her longstanding career and professional reputation on the line” on AFTRA’s behalf. Click here>>

The Convention honored John Sandifer, retiring Executive Director of the Seattle Local, former Local Board member, former President of the Seattle Local and television broadcaster, for his 35 years of dedicated service to his AFTRA colleagues. Click here>>

Delegates selected Chicago as the site of the 2009 AFTRA Convention. Click here>>